Friday, August 26, 2011

Oh my, how time flies!!!

I am so sorry to have disappeared like I did for so long!  A lot has happened in the time since I last posted.

I'll start with TK.  He developed a severe case of itchy ears....he'd scratch so much that he would have horrible scabs on his head right in front of both ears.  Vet check found nothing, time and time again.  I had no choice but to put an e-collar on him to try and get the sores healed.

Well, once he couldn't scratch his ears, TK started working on a sore on his back, right between his shoulders.  Talk about a gnarly sore!  The sore was about 3 inches long, an inch or so wide.  My vet thought that perhaps he was having a reaction to his food, so we started feeding both TK and Radar Royal Canin HP.  While that food seems ok on their tummys, it did absolutely nothing for his itchiness.  We kept the boys on that food for over a year!

Then one day I noticed that TK wasn't walking well, he acted like his feet hurt him.  I looked closely, and could see that the skin around several of his nails looked red, inflamed, and oozing.  I started washing his toes 2 or 3 times daily with warm water and a touch of baby wash.  After doing this for a week or so, they all healed, so I stopped treating them.  No sooner though and they'd turn sore again!

I took him to my vet, and she figured out that TK has a yeast infection!  We feel that he must have actually had this since back when he was scratching at his ears so much.  And, because it wasn't caught and treated, it went systemic!  We immediately started him on an oral liquid medicine for the yeast infection, and steriods, and FINALLY!  He's NOT itchy!!!  After wearing that cone for over a year, he's now cone free, and doing well.  I've gradually reduced his steroid dose down to just 0.22 mg twice daily.  We did try once a day dosing, but he started showing signs of sore feet again.  My vet feels that we'll have to treat TK for this the rest of his life....which is a small price to pay for his comfort.

Radar is Radar.  We have added 4 more kitties to our household, and Radar loves to harass one, a calico named Heidi.  She detests Radar (I have no clue why!) and so if Radar comes near her she'll start this diesel motor growl.  All that does is aid Radar in locating her.  LOL!  So then he goes and pounces on her, and she lets out a yowl and runs for the hills!  It's comical to watch these two!

Healthwise Radar is doing well.  He's my little boy, still weighs just a mere 4 pounds, but he's got the heart of a lion and a beautiful spirit.  He doesn't let being blind slow him down one bit.  His favorite toy is still just a balled up piece of paper.

Oh, we DID get both boys neutered!  And what a mess these boys made of that!  I took them in one morning to visit Dr. Wackemout.  They went through their surgeries fine, and so I returned that evening and took them home.  Once I got home with them, I let them out of their carrier so that I could get the big crate ready for Autumn and Heidi, who were both on schedule the next day for spays.  Wrong move!

TK and Radar were feeling too good from their post op pain meds, and they took off running all over the house.  At one point they both were even found in our garbage can!  Well, nobody told them to rest and relax.  By the time I caught up with them, both of their surgical sites were bleeding!  Oh no!  I called the vet and explained what had happened, and we all agreed that they should probably go back to the vet to spend a nice quiet night in cage rest.  The next morning when I took Autumn and Heidi in for spaying, I picked up the boys, brought them home, and they rested in the large crate for the day.  After that they were fine and dandy!

And so now, here we are.  We have a total of 10 kitties here.  They are in order of age: Speedy, Freon, Gypsy, Lady, Data, TK, Radar, Autumn, Heidi, and Bruiser.  Plus our dog, Angel.

Just recently both Speedy and Freon were diagnosed with hyperT.  We just started treatment on them tonight, with oral liquid med to help bring their thyroid levels down.  We'll find out in 3 weeks when I return them to the vet for T4 testing.  Let's hope they both start feeling better real soon!

Monday, January 25, 2010

We finally have an answer!!!

I had to take my dog, Angel, to Dr. K today for her monthly cbc, and when she called me this past Friday to let me know that all of the test results were back she said that everything was negative.  She asked me to allow the boys to tag along with us today because she wanted to see how they are doing, and wanted me to try and get another poo sample from Radar for retesting, since his poop hasn't yet returned to 100% normal.

About 20 minutes before we left for the vet Radar went poo, and I grabbed it.  Poor boy, he gets so confused when I do that!  He knows that he pooped, but when he turns around to cover it it's gone!  Sorry, I just can't help to wonder what he must think when his poop disappears right out from under him like that.  The look on his face when he discovers his poo missing is priceless!  LOL!

Anyway, we got to the vet and first saw Dr. I, she's Dr. K's partner in the practice.  Dr. I took Angel's history and such, read through what our previous vet sent them (which was missing ALL of the important info about why Angel is on pred and has a monthly cbc!) and then she took Angel to draw her blood sample. 

Then Dr. K came into the room to see TK and Radar, and she's amazed at just how well they're doing, TK has a nice fat tummy, both boys have shiny coats, and they're active, playing well, eating and drinking well, and both are acting fine.  TK's poo has returned to normal, but Radar still has a bit loose poo, but far from what it was!

I gave Radar's donated poo to Dr. K so she could run tests again, and can you guess what they found???

Giardia cysts!!!

Yes, my boys have giardia!  Why on earth my "other" vet didn't find this, I don't know.  Perhaps the boys weren't shedding giardia at any of the multiple times they ran fecal tests on them, or perhaps the tech doesn't read fecal checks well...........either way at least now we have an answer, and a treatment plan to get them back on track.  They'll both be on metronidazole for 10 days.  And, if once they stop this med should the diarrhea return, we'll just have to treat them for a longer period of time or try a different medicine.  It's so good to know what we're treating.............all the way home I kept thanking Radar for his donation!  Without it we wouldn't have this knowledge.

Oh, and today TK weighed in at 5.8 pounds and Radar is 4 pounds.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's been a rough road............

Sorry about how long it's been since I've posted here, but things went from good to bad for the boys again, and I've had to take special care of them.

Back in early December Freon got sick again, vomitting, not eating or drinking, and generally off.  I had to syringe NutriCal into him to prevent fatty liver disease, and gave him sub-q fluids daily to keep his hydration levels up.  Within a few days he was feeling much better, but then TK came down with some bug.  He totally lost his voice, was vomitting some, coughing and gagging some, and he developed diarrhea again.  TK seemed to be holding his own though, so I waited while hoping that this illness would pass.

It didn't............within a week or so Radar came down with diarrhea, but he didn't develop any of the other symptoms that TK had.

I ended up taking the two boys to my vet because of the diarrhea and TK's other symptoms, but I have to be honest with you, my vet let me and the boys down this time.  Normally the first thing they want to do is to run bloodwork.  They didn't this time.  All the vet did was to run a fecal check on Radar, the results showed an overload of bacteria.  Then the vet took their temperatures, TK was 102.6F and Radar was 102.1F.  In my book that's having a fever.  The vet said that it was just "slightly" elevated, most likely from the stress of the car ride!  Ummmm.........Radar was sleeping in the carrier, so how is that stress???

Anyway, my vet sure didn't seem too concerned about their condition, and gave me 4 syringes of DiaGel.  She didn't even bother to tell me when/how often to give it.  The instructions said to give each kitten 1 syringe, and if within 24 hours the diarrhea was still present then to give each kitten the second syringe.  So I simply followed the instructions.

Both of the boys took a turn for the worse, their diarrhea was pure water, they looked horrible, and I was upset that my vet didn't seem to care.  So, I called a new clinic, one I had visited when they held open house for their new building.  I made an appointment with them for 3 pm that day.  Shortly after I had done that TK really turned badly, he threw up 7 times within minutes.  He finally seemed to settle down and was napping on my bed so I went to watch a little bit of tv.  Suddenly TK came to me, insisting on climbing up into my lap, the whole time he was dripping liquid poo.  He laid down in my lap and started shaking!  I knew then that I had moments to make a decision!  I called the new vet back and told them what had just happened, and they told me to bring them in now!  Off we went!

Once I got there with the boys we were immediately whisked off to an exam room.  TK was listless, very sick.  Radar was totally upset too.  The vet tech took their history (thank God I have this blog because I wrote down a lot of stuff from here for the new vet) and then the vet came into the room.  Dr. K took one look at the boys and told me that they both needed to be hospitalized immediately!

TK was put on IV fluids, he was severely dehydrated.  Radar wasn't in as bad of shape, but TK needed his brother there with him.  TK's white cell count was over 28,000!!!  They were started on antibiotics, panacur, albon, and pro-pectalin for the diarrhea.  They stayed in hospital for 3 days.

Dr. K thinks that they may have trichomoniasis.  She sent many tests to the outlab to find out what the cause of this diarrhea might be.  So far some test results have come back indicating an over abundance of coliform bacteria in their intestinal tracts, but several cultures haven't been reported on yet.

The boys finally came back home, and I got to say, I LOVE this new vet!  The staff are all friendly, kind, and compassionate.  There are 2 vets there, and they talk to each other about cases.  They're not afraid to make phone calls to other vets to pick their brains, and they listen to the owners.

TK developed a whole different problem shortly after they came home though, one I've never had to deal with before.  The medicine worked so good on him that he got to the point where he couldn't go poo!  I took him back to the new vet, and she told me that she didn't really feel comfortable giving him a laxative because she feared it might bring the diarrhea back, so she gave him a little sub-q fluids and suggested I use karo syrup to help "move" things along.  For two days I gave him 1/2 cc of karo syrup mixed with a wee bit of warm water every 6 hours, hoping he'd go poo.  Finally he did, and it was such a relief to both him and me.  Dr. K's tech even called here daily wanting a "poo" update!

So, now they're both much much better, feeling well and playing, and we've found ourselves a new vet.  Hopefully we'll soon figure out why the boys get this horrible diarrhea and will get a treatment plan sorted out for them.  They're both growing again, TK is over 5 pounds now, Radar is 3 pounds, 15 3/4 ounces.  Dr. K feels that whatever the cause of the diarrhea is is most likely why their growth has been stunted.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the boys just taken within the last several days!

TK sleeping with Jasmine, his dear girlfriend.

Radar sleeping curled up on my computer chair.

TK napping with Sam, who thinks of himself as the "kid's" grampa!

Radar with Freon.

Brotherly love!

TK mid pounce, Radar waiting to get pounced upon!

TK and Radar playing.

And lastly, one of TK's baby teeth!

And if you feel so inclined to view more pictures of the boys (and the rest of my furry family) you can visit their photos at:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A belated Happy Thanksgiving!

Things are going nicely for my two boys right now.  When I took Radar and TK back for their recheck TK's bloodwork is still holding normal, so he's been released from vet care.  Radar still has a tiny bit of ear infection, so he's still being treated for that.  I have to take Radar back on December 2nd for a recheck on his ear.

They've discovered a new way to wake me up in the morning.  Radar noses his way underneath my covers and works his way down until he's right at the small of my back.  Once he reaches that point TK then starts pouncing on him from the outside of my covers!  While I'm sure it's a grand game for these two little rascals, those needle sharp claws of Radar's sure don't feel good!!!  I'm hoping that they will invent yet another way to wake me up real soon, something that doesn't involve clawing me awake.

It's kinda hard to show both TK and Radar in one photo....TK's whiteness gets very bright, and Radar's blackness makes him tend to lose details.  LOL!

Freon likes to spend some time with the kids, when they're calm and not rough housing around.  TK is using Radar as a sort of body pillow, and Radar doesn't seem to mind being squished at all.  Silly boys!

Here the three of them are, all snug in my computer chair.  After I took this photo TK and Radar left the chair to spend a little of their energy wrestling!

Radar has done his famous hip toss to TK, and is preparing to pounce on him.  I try to supervise their play more now, it seems that Radar has discovered that TK has testicles and, obviously being a bit mystified by them, he often tries to remove them, much to TK's squeals of protest and pain!  Speaking of this rather personal thing, Radar hasn't yet developed (or dropped) either testicle yet!!!  My vet has said that when I decide to have the boys neutured they'll have to perform abdominal exploratory surgery on Radar to locate his missing testicles. way!  He may actually not have any!  Given the fact that he has birth defects (missing one eye, the other tiny and for the most part sightless, plus the flip tip ear), he may not have testicles, which would explain why they haven't yet descended.  I've done a little research and discovered at least two different ways that my vet can tell whether Radar has testicles without having to do surgery.  One way is to examine his penis.  If it has "spines" on it then he must have at least one testicle, but if it's smooth and spineless then he doesn't have either testicle.  Also, there's a test that can be done where they take a baseline blood sample to test testosterone levels, then they give him an injection that forces his testicles into testosterone production, and rerun the bloodwork at certain intervels to see whether the testosterone level rises.  Again, if it does then he has testicles hiding somewhere, but if the bloodwork continues to show no testosterone then he's sterile and doesn't have testicles.  I'm not sure if my vet's clinic can perform this type of bloodwork, so I'll see if they can examine his penis for spines first.  Either way, I don't want him to undergo surgery if it's all for nothing, ya know?

Why's my brother wanting my private parts???

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New photos!!!

Radar and TK are both doing really well, they go back to the vet this coming Wednesday evening for their respective rechecks.  Hopefully TK's cbc will be within normal limits (he's still quite pink) and Radar's ear infection will be gone.  They're playing well, sleeping good, and eating a totally cat friendly diet now.  At last weigh-in (11/7/09) TK weighed 1739 grams and Radar was 1256 grams.  So, here are some new photos of the guys!

 Here's Radar trying to take a nap........but something got his attention!  He's getting fuzzier (as if that's possible) and looks like he's having a bad hair day most of the time.  Or......he could be suffering fly-away hair from us having the heat on!  LOL!

TK with his new sleeping partner Jasmine.  I'm so glad that the guys are trying to show her some interest!  Jasmine is 15 years old (my oldest kitty here) and she misses her sister Cinnamon a lot.  I lost Cinnamon several months ago to crf.  Now that the boys are here Jasmine seems to have taken a new interest in life in general! 

TK and Jasmine sleeping together again, with Radar trying to join in!  I had hoped that Radar would be the one smitten with Jasmine, but he doesn't seem as interested in spending a lot of time with Jasmine as TK is.  Oh well, what can I do?!?!?  (Just goes to show ya that cats certainly have minds of their own and will do as they please!)

And if this picture doesn't say it all, nothing will!  Jasmine momma's TK, and TK really does seem to love having her company.  Beautiful, eh?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's a new day........

I'm sorry that I left you hanging like I did.  Let's go back to Oct. 14th for a moment.

After TK had not one, but two blood draws, he had a terrible time with bleeding from his right jugular vein.  The techs held his little neck for what seemed like forever to try and stop the bleeding, and eventually they got it to stop.  But, TK developed a rather nasty hematoma from it, and when we returned home he was in a serious amount of pain from it!  All that evening he just laid in my chair, and when he'd get up to move he'd let out a squeek of pain and collapse right back down again.  DH and I were both very concerned and afraid for him.  In fact, when we went to bed TK followed us to the bedroom but he didn't seem to have the ooomph to jump up on the bed.  I gently picked him up and placed him on our bed, where he stayed ALL night long!

By the next morning he seemed to be feeling a little bit better, but was so awfully sore.  He ate and slept, and whenever Radar attempted to play with him he'd again squeal with pain and run away.  Poor Radar, he just didn't know what to do.....he wanted to play and rough house, but TK certainly wasn't up to it.  Instead, Radar pestered me, play attacking me at the slightest invite. 

By Friday TK was on the mend, he definitely was getting over the pain in his neck, but he still didn't act like his normal self, like he just was lacking stamina.  He finally started playing a little bit with Radar, but again, even Radar noticed that it wasn't their normal wrestling.  This continued throughout the entire weekend.

On Monday I called our vet to discuss TK's situation, but she was busy and ended up calling me back later in the day.  Some very special friends had sent me a lot of information about hemobart, so when our vet did return my call I read some of the information to her.  She decided that maybe we should go ahead and treat TK for hemobart even though the test came back negative.  So, on Tuesday morning I went to the vet and picked up some compounded doxycycline.  I started giving it to TK Tuesday evening.

Well, let me tell Tuesday night TK was MUCH better, wrestling with Radar and running around like his little butt was on fire!  He played, he leapt, he climbed, he was his normal nutty little self!!!  And he hasn't looked back since.

We finally got both of the boys eating real canned cat food, although their choices are (of course) some of the more expensive foods........they really like Sheba chicken.  Bad thing is that Sheba will be out of business come January 2010.  Whiskas will be taking over for them.  Both Sheba and Whiskas are owned by Mars company, so maybe Whiskas will start producing a Sheba-like food.  The guys are also eating Whiskas, Friskies.....most anything in a pouch as long as it's a poultry flavor.  Get this, they're now eating 5 to 6 meals a day of REAL canned cat food!!!  Plus, neither of them will even give AD a look now.

We had to take TK back to the vet this past Wednesday evening for a recheck on his anemia, and thankfully his bloodwork is now perfectly normal!!  Oh man, such a relief!!!!!  My vet was totally impressed by TK's recovery and now agrees that he most likely did have hemobart dispite the negative test.  She has even started Radar on treatment for it too, which makes a ton of sense.  They've been together since birth, and Radar could have it in his bone marrow just waiting for a time when he has some other illness, then it could spring to life and threaten his. 

In fact, while we had TK there we also took Radar, for moral support to TK, and he had an ear bothering him that needed to be checked.  Seems that Radar now has a very slight ear infection, so we're treating that too plus giving both kittens their doxycycline. 

On Wednesday the 28th TK weighed in at 3 pounds 9 ounces, Radar 2 pounds 3 ounces. 

Hopefully next time I post I'll have some new pictures of these guys to share with you!
Until then..........

Sunday, October 18, 2009!

There won't be any pictures in today's post, I'm just not up to uploading any from my camera.  But, I wanted to share the news with you about TK.

I had to take Freon and Angel to the vet's this past Wednesday evening for their monthly bloodwork, and because TK had been doing some serious scratching at one ear I carried him along too.

After the blood was drawn from Angel and Freon the vet came in to examine TK.  Seems that he has an infection going on in that ear, so she prescribed him some ear drops and an antibiotic.  She started looking back at his chart and saw where he had tested slightly anemic a while back, so she asked if it would be ok to run a follow up on that too.  I really thought it unnecessary, but let her do it.

Well, sadly, TK is now even more anemic!  So more blood was drawn for two outlab tests, one for hemobartonella, and the other a reticulocyte count.  We got those test results back Friday.

No, TK doesn't have hemobartonella, and no, he's not making any new red blood cells!

This is dire.......a potentially life-threatening thing.  It can be something as simple as malnutrition from him and Radar relying too much on canned AD, to leukemia in his bone marrow, to FIP, to any other number of causes........and all but malnutrition means that there is a likelihood that we may end up losing our dear precious TK, and also possibly Radar.

Needless to say I'm devastated!  These two boys have gone through so much, first being born outside, to our decision to adopt them, to battling diarrhea, and eating problems, and now this.  My heart is breaking.  I watch them run and play, with sadness, because I know what the future (or lack of) means for them.  I feel as if I'm already mourning them, yet they're still here.

Anyhow, TK is now on antibiotics and ear drops, plus pred, LiquTinic, and just finished up another 3 day course of panacur (just in case he has worms).  I've bought some Tiki Cat canned food and am working hard at getting both boys off the AD and onto some real cat food.

I have to take TK back to the vet on Oct 28th for followup bloodwork, and if his anemia is still as bad or worse then the vet will want to schedule him in for a bone marrow biopsy.

Please, if you're reading this and feel so inclined, good thoughts/prayers/healing light will be greatly appreciated, I'm NOT ready to lose my boys, not now!